Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Government’s proposals for public land will prove problematic

“The NSW Government has only partially blocked the Shooters and Fishers Party, and other hardliners plans to push back conservation gains with its response to the Public Lands Inquiry that was released today. The Government’s stance will also not please the bullet and hook mob whose demand for logging in North Coast national parks was rejected,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“The Government response to the Public Lands Inquiry is more a summary of the current state play of its incremental wind back of many past conservation gains, such as the worrying investigation of further logging in some western reserves. What is new is the proposed park reservation process,” Mr Muir said.

The proposed Park Reservation Process will be problematic

“The Government’s initiative to create a formal process for national park reservation will prove complex and difficult to implement.  The foreshadowed reservation process will focus more on “what’s in it for us” and less on the protection of nature,” Mr Muir said.

“Conservationist and scientists should not be forced into scratching around to find as many economic benefits and community opportunities as possible to justify a proposed park!  National Parks are not about that, they are about protecting nature,” he said.

“Reserve design is not about conservation target hunting versus jobs and dollars, or creating community pleasure grounds to get the locals on side, and many well-loved existing parks would not rate on such a score card.  Parks have been and should always be reserved because they are outstanding natural areas of high conservation value”, Mr Muir said. 

“The Colong Foundation is prepared work with the NSW Government to accelerate the park reservation program in this state in the lead up to the World Parks Congress in November 2014. We will, however, resist moves to convert the consideration of park proposals into a process for achieving sustainable economic development”, said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE - MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC LAND IN NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW)
General Purpose Standing Committee No. 5 - report into Management of public land in New South Wales - Government response tabled 19 November 2013. See: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/74DA1CD968BEB279CA257B6C00012C86